Over 40 pharmaceuticals and medicines are derived from pig co-products.
The global medical industry is one of the world’s fastest growing industries absorbing over 10% of the gross domestic product of most developed countries. The United States has one of the largest medical and healthcare industries in the world. It is comprised of sectors such as medical equipment and supplies, pharmaceutical healthcare services, biotechnology and alternative medicines.
Two very important sectors that co-products from the pig are used in are pharmaceutical and medical devices.
Pharmaceuticals rank second only to meat itself in the important contributions pigs make to society. Up until recently, we depended primarily on pigs as a source of many of our vital medical products, and in many cases we still do. Rapidly advancing science and technology are continually adding to the list of life supporting and lifesaving products derived from the incredible pig. Co-products such as pancreas, stomach lining and small intestine can be used in the manufacture of finished products such as Insulin, Heparin and Pepsin within the pharmaceutical sector.
The medical device manufacturing sector is a highly diversified industry that produces a range of products designed to diagnose and treat patients in healthcare systems worldwide. The United States medical device industry is known for producing high quality products using advanced technology resulting from significant investment in research and development. Heart valves can be used for replacement surgeries in human beings. Tissues from the pig such as the submucosa of the small intestine and pericardia can be used for general surgery applications within the human body to repair wounds.
Co-products from pigs play a vital, though less visible, role in maintaining and improving the quality of human life. Thanks to innovative research and new technologies, new and different co-products from pigs are constantly being developed.
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Various tissues from the pig are further processed to create a finished product that is used for wound closure applications throughout the human body.